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Obvious truths finally stated

October 18th, 2006

With Blair on the way out, the British military leadership seems to be in open revolt. Following the admission last week by the army chief that the Iraq war had made terrorism worse, there’s this

The invasion of Iraq prevented British forces from helping to secure Afghanistan much sooner and has left a dangerous vacuum in the country for four years, the commander who has led the attack against the Taliban made clear yesterday.

Brigadier Ed Butler, commander of 3 Para battlegroup just returned from southern Afghanistan, said the delay in deploying Nato troops after the overthrow of the Taliban in 2002 meant British soldiers faced a much tougher task now.

Asked whether the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath had led to Britain and the US taking their eye off the ball, Brig Butler said the question was “probably best answered by politicians”.

Not original, but significant by virtue of the source.

The only reading I can make of this is that the British top brass are desperate for a quick withdrawal from Iraq, as soon as Blair goes, and are applying as much pressure as possible (even at the cost of violating conventions about military comment on political issues) to ensure that Gordon Brown does not succumb to threats or blandishments from Washington.

Update Brigadier Butler claims he was misquoted

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  1. Chris O’Neill
    October 23rd, 2006 at 14:22 | #1

    “lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands”

    Good thing we stopped that happening in Iraq.

  2. Chris Daley
    October 23rd, 2006 at 20:11 | #2

    Observa, are you one of these conspiracy nuts that believe in the illuminati/one-world-government etc etc. How do you reconcile your paranoia about the government while at the same time support it’s senseless slaughter?

    But I digress, if only to call bulldust on your ludicrous insinuations that the LTTE is in anyway linked to moslem extremism. But what would I know, I’ve only worked in the goddamn country with Moselms, Tamils (Hindu and Christian) and Singhalese, spoken with them at length about the conflict and its source and seen it simmering away first-hand.

    But paranoia works like that, you see bogey-men under the bed, draw links that don’t actually exist and extoll nonsense one day and deny it the next. It would be easy to ignore people suffering from the same delusions as you, except there appear to be an alarmingly high number of equally deluded people in power.

  3. milano803
    October 24th, 2006 at 11:02 | #3

    “Razor, Bush declared victory in a triumphant speech on the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1 2003″

    actually, he did not

    “in front of a big banner that said “Mission Accomplishedâ€?.”

    The USS Abraham Lincoln was returning home in May 2003 after a successful mission. How would that not be “Mission Acomplished”?

  4. jquiggin
    October 24th, 2006 at 11:38 | #4

    ‘The USS Abraham Lincoln was returning home in May 2003 after a successful mission. How would that not be “Mission Acomplishedâ€??”

    You are joking here, right, Milano? Has even the most shameless Republican shill ever suggested anything of the kind?

  5. Hal9000
    October 24th, 2006 at 11:38 | #5

    milano803 – from Bush’s own website http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/05/20030501-15.html

    Highlights…

    “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. ”

    “Your courage, your willingness to face danger for your country and for each other, made this day possible. Because of you, our nation is more secure. Because of you, the tyrant has fallen, and Iraq is free.”

    Translation – the war is over, and we won. Yeeha! BTW, and in case you missed the point, they lost.

    If that’s not a triumphant victory speech, the phrase has no meaning.

  6. frankis
    October 24th, 2006 at 11:45 | #6

    It’s an important point for sure milano so here, you get to choose which version – Bush’s, Rumsfeld’s or McClellan’s – you prefer the sound of ….. OK I’m lying about that because you’ll have no choice whatsoever but to go all the way with Scotty McClellan, heh!

    Al Kamen wrote in The Washington Post on Sunday: “Remember that great ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, when President Bush dramatically landed there to give his speech announcing the end of ‘major combat operations’ in Iraq?

    “The White House said the banner was not its doing and must have been the Navy’s idea.

    “Now we find out, in Bob Woodward ‘s new book ‘State of Denial,’ that wasn’t the case. None other than Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld , on the record, tells Woodward that ‘I took ‘Mission Accomplished’ out’ upon reading a draft of the speech. ‘And I fixed it and sent it back. They fixed the speech,’ he said, ‘but not the sign.’”

    That even blows the White House’s cover story, when it came out that they had produced the banner themselves.

    You may recall that at an October 28, 2003 press conference , Bush said his staff was not responsible for the banner on the ship. “The ‘Mission Accomplished’ sign, of course, was put up by the members of the USS Abraham Lincoln, saying that their mission was accomplished,” he said. “I know it was attributed somehow to some ingenious advance man from my staff — they weren’t that ingenious, by the way.”

    But as Dana Milbank and Mike Allen wrote in the next day’s Washington Post: “White House press secretary Scott McClellan later acknowledged that the sign was produced by the White House. He said the warship’s crew, at sea for 10 months, had requested it. ‘The original idea for the banner was suggested by those on the ship,’ McClellan said. ‘They asked if we would take care of the production of the banner. The banner was a way to commemorate the sailors and crew onboard the ship and the fact that they had accomplished their mission after a lengthy deployment.”

    Now, of course, there’s reason to believe that wasn’t true either.

    from Dan Froomkin at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/blog/2006/10/05/BL2006100500754_5.html

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